Journey with Jasmine: TOKYO, JAPAN
Updated: Apr 22, 2020
As the capital of Japan, Tokyo stands as one of the most modern and technologically-advanced cities in the world. During our trip, we explored five of Tokyo's many neighborhoods - Ikebukero, Akihabara, Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Odaiba - and had the chance to experience the hustle-and-bustle of Japanese city life!
Our first stop in Tokyo was Ikebukero. Ikebukero functions as one of Tokyo's large shopping districts and city-centers. Similar to Akihabara, it also is a place where otaku culture thrives. One of the most popular destinations in Ikebukero is Sunshine City, a massive shopping complex home to Kiddyland and one of the several Pokemon Centers in Japan.
So many Jirachis! (We went around the time of the Star Festival)
As you can tell, we took our dear, sweet time in the Pokemon Center...
I wanted to take all of plushies home! Which plushie would you want?
Kiddyland is home to all things cute! The products were surprisingly not overpriced. I didn't want to leave!
For our day-trip to Ikebukero and Akihabara, I wanted to wear something fun and decided to match with Karenn. We wore matching kimonos, casual-wear, and sneakers. I paired my white kimono with a simple, black halter top, a patched denim skirt, and a classic choker.
Kimono: KOGIKETSU Japanese Street-style Kimono
Use this link to get 21% off!
Shoes: ADIDAS Black Campus Shoes
Akihabara, known for being the motherland of otaku culture in Japan and throughout the world, serves as a giant shopping district, filled with maid cafes, tech stores, and anime-themed shops.
To be honest, I don't really listen to AKB48, a famous Japanese idol group who has had many of their songs featured in animes, but I still thought it was cool that we got to see the cafe where they perform!
If you are a lover of Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy, then you have to stop by the Square Enix Cafe. It's filled with all sorts of cool official trinkets and souvenirs from the two extremely popular video games!
Knowing the difference in culture between Japan and America, we decided to try lunch at one of Japan's Wendy's. To our surprise, the experience was more different than expected. Rather than the feeling of eating at a traditional American diner, Wendy's in Japan seemed a little bit classier. The vibe was more equal to a Japanese California Pizza Kitchen. Not too expensive, but simple and classy. Wendy's is also one of the few restaurants in Japan that stays open 24/7, so it was a convenient place for us to grab a meal near our hotel in Shinjuku.
I ordered Spaghetti Bolognese with Eggplant and some tofu on the side. It was delicious, and I was absolutely in love with the plating! (Can you believe this came from a Wendy's?! （○□○）)
For dessert, we ordered some melon flavored treats, which tasted amazing and not too sweet. I definitely wanted to go back for more!
Our next stop in Tokyo was Harajuku. Harajuku is another popular tourist destination in Japan, well-known as a place for
Japanese Street Fashion and shopping.
For my birthday in Harajuku, I wore a light off-the-shoulder top and paired it with my favorite button-up skirt and some sneakers.
Shoes: ADIDAS Black Campus Shoes
The first thing we did in Harajuku was eat! We decided to get pancakes at a Japanese-Hawaiian restaurant called Eggs 'n Things. The pancakes were light and extremely delicious, and the serving sizes were huge! I was sad I couldn't finish them, as most Japanese restaurants do not allow takeout. There were several flavors of syrup on the side that you could try. I discovered my new favorite pancake topping is guava syrup!
Travel Tip: Most Japanese restaurants do not do takeout. If you can't finish you're meal, it is okay to leave what you can't eat.
You could say we got whip cream with a side of pancakes...
Next, we visited an owl cafe. This guy's name is Thor.
To be honest, I wasn't really a fan of how the owls were tied to a post, but it was an interesting first experience.
Selena was my favorite owl.
We stopped by the Line Friends store for a bit to look around. There were so many cute products!
What mostly got us to go into the store was the giant Brown plushie.
Who else is excited about the BTS dolls? ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ 。☆*･°
For a snack we stopped by LONG, LONGER, AND LONGEST, and tried the potatoes! There are three flavor options: chicken, beef, and butter. Irene got the chicken flavor, Karenn got the beef, and I got the butter! I actually liked the chicken flavor the most. You can also order an extra long churro or a super tall ice cream cone!
Travel Tip: Don't get the butter.
Our last stop in Harajuku was Milk Craft Cream, which is a dessert shop that specializes in (you guessed it) soft-serve milk ice cream. This was probably my favorite part of our trip to Harajuku.
I ordered the Milky Soft Parfait, and it was bomb. It had such a creamy, milky, and smooth texture. I would definitely come back for more!
My friends ordered the Milky Chiffon Cake, which was equally delicious! Inside the creamy milk soft-serve was a moist sponge cake!
I also styled Karenn's outfit for the day, and we decided to do a little photoshoot!
In conclusion to our long day in Harajuku, Karenn surprised me with a traditional Japanese birthday cake for my birthday! The flavor was strawberry cheesecake, and I can honestly say it was the best cake I have ever had in my entire life. I'm sure I ate at last half of it...╮(╯∀╰)╭
Our last two days in Japan were spent in Odaiba. Odaiba is another popular shopping destination for tourists and is located on a man-made island.
While in Japan, I aimed for a cute and comfortable. For Odaiba, I wore an easy-to-wear star-print dress and some white sneakers, so I could easily move about.
On our first day in Odaiba, we took the time to explore the Toyota Mega Web Showcase in Palette Town. It was a unique and fun experience, where we got to see some high-tech vehicles and release our inner-child by playing some games! You can even drive a segway!
My favorite part about the showcase was testing out the race car simulation!
Later at night we headed to Diver City, a large shopping complex where we stopped by to see the Unicorn Gundam Statue and do some shopping. Inside Diver City, you can find an endless amount of restaurants, shops, a two-story Round 1, and the Gundam Museum.
We realized the stairs lit up at night...
Last, but definitely not least, in Odaiba we visited the Mori Digital Art Museum put together by TeamLab. The Mori Digital Art Museum creates a unique and virtual experience through the use of digital art. There is no map inside the museum, and the art is constantly changing, so each room may look
different every few hours.
The Mori Digital Art Museum was honestly my favorite part of our Japan trip. The experience it offers is beautiful, unique, and unforgettable.
Not everything is always as picture-perfect as it seems. We actually only planned to be in Odaiba for one day, but tickets for the Mori Digital Art Museum were sold out when we went, even though we tried to book tickets a month in advance. Thankfully, we were able to come back the next day to see it.
Unfortunately, we were extremely short on time because it was the same day as our flight, and we got lost on the train to Odaiba. What was originally planned to be an hour spent in the Mori Digital Art Museum turned into a quick 20 -minute visit. Inside the museum, I also lost my phone, but thanks to the extremely organized staff, I was able to find it right away!
If you ever plan on visiting the Mori Digital Art Museum, I definitely recommend reserving tickets about a week in advance! You can book tickets in advance on their website.
Overall conclusion? My experience in Tokyo was fun and filled with adventure, and I can't wait to come back and explore! 🧡
P.S. I know this was a really long post, but thank you so much if you have read this far. I hope anyone who plans on going on a trip to Japan in the future and wants to visit Tokyo truly finds this helpful.
So what part of Tokyo do you want to visit?
Let me know in the comments below!
I wish you a wonderful week and thanks for reading!
Lots of Love,
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